Welcome to Western…The Time of Your Life!

Ag Vocator Christian Thurwanger kicks off the Student Panel
Ag Vocator Christian Thurwanger kicks off the Student Panel

On October 9th the School of Agriculture held its Annual Open House. This event is put on by the Ag Vocators, which is a group of students who promote the School of Agriculture and recruit potential students. With the help of our advisor Ember Keithley, who is also the academic advisor, we were able to put on a successful event this year.

The open house is hosted at the University Farm. We started our day at the Livestock Center with a fair that included campus offices such as, Housing and Dining, Financial Aid, and the Beu Health Center. The fair also spotlighted our School of Ag clubs and organizations. Following the fair, we got a welcome from the Director of the School of Ag, Dr. Andrew Baker. We had a student panel that consisted of eight ag majors who all came to Western on different paths. After the student panel we conducted a farm tour. This was lead by Dr. Mark Hoge. We toured the entire farm and at every stop there were student workers there to talk about what goes on in that area of the farm. The farm tour lasted about an hour and then it was off to lunch. We held lunch in the Multicultural Center on campus. Lunch was attended by all of our guests and a majority of our faculty in the School of Agriculture. Our faculty was there to talk about what they do within the department. We wrapped things up with a drawing to give away two scholarships and a few important advising tips from Ember.

Dr. Mark Hoge speaking during the Farm Tour
Dr. Mark Hoge speaking during the Farm Tour

We had approximately 35 potential students and their families present. Overall I believe that the open house ran very smooth and it was a complete success!

Keep an eye on the School of Ag’s webpage as the Spring 2016 Open House date will be announced soon! For students who wish to enroll at WIU, visit the Admissions homepage! The application is super simple and doesn’t take very long to fill out. You should also register for a Discover Western day to get more information on Western. Those dates on the Admissions page, under “Undergraduate Admissions.” The next Discover Western is October 24th.


My name is Krissy Simmons. I am a senior Ag Science major here at WIU. I am a member of the Ag Vocators team, Sigma Alpha Sorority, CFFA/PAS, Collegiate Farm Bureau, and Alpha Zeta. I also work for Dr. Mark Bernards on the university farm. I will be graduating in December and have plans to obtain my Masters’ Degree in Plant Genetics and Biotechnology.


Photo Credit: Ms. Jana Knupp

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